By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will issue show cause orders to 1,000 barangays around Manila Bay as well as Laguna de Bay that will not comply with an order by the agency requiring their weekend coastal cleanup.

“Right now, we have prepared issuance of show cause orders to barangay captains of the Regions III, IV-A, and NCR who have failed to comply with the mentioned circular. Unang hakbang po diyan ay kailangan nilang maipaliwanag sa akin po mismo ang kanilang non-compliance (They should explain to me first their non-compliance),” DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin B. Diño said in a press conference on Thursday, May 2.

DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2019-09 directed 178 local government units and 5,714 barangays along the Manila Bay Watershed Area to conduct a weekly cleanup.

“In our rough estimate, around 1,000 of the 5,714 barangays remain to be indifferent to our cause, making a complete mockery of our overall campaign by continuously disregarding these high level orders for rehabilitation of the bay,” Mr. Diño said.

Along with the DILG order which aims to rehabilitate Manila Bay and other bodies of water, barangay captains are required to report on their weekend cleanup to the DILG.

“Kapag na-evaluate namin na hindi nakisama ‘yung kapitan (If we have evaluated that the barangay captain did not participate), remember, under Republic Act 7160, book 3 chapter 3, section 389, the punong barangay shall enforce all laws at kapag ‘di niya ginawa (if he does not comply), grave negligence ang aabutin niya. Sa Ombudsman kami magpa-file (he can be charged with grave negligence which we will file before the Ombudsman),” Mr. Diño said.

He warned all mayors in Metro Manila to implement Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Clean Water Act, as he cited the case of Aklan Mayor Cicero Cawaling, who was dismissed for gross neglect of duty in connection with Boracay’s environmental situation.

“‘Yung mga mayor sa Metro Manila at mayors ng 179 [LGUs] that cover Manila Bay, hindi kayo exempted, baka kayo na ang kasunod (you might be next in line) once na hindi niyo pinatupad (once you did not implement) ang Republic Act 9003 at Clean Water Act,” said Mr. Diño.

Mr. Diño also said some piggeries and poultry farms near the bay have already been closed.